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Apr 16, 2007 10:06 AM

Babbo for anniversary

My fiance and I have reservations in a few weeks at Babbo for our 6 year anniversary. We are both pasta lovers and we love Italian food in general, but we're not sure if we want to do the tasting menus yet. If we go ala carte, how many dishes from each category would you recommend? Is 1 antipasto, 2 pastas, 2 secondis too much food?

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  1. IMHO, way too much food, although i suppose it depends on which pastas you go for. last week, i had the lambs tongue vinaigrette starter followed by the gnocchi (which was absolutely fantastic) and i was bursting. if you're pasta lovers, i'd stick with those, since i hear the secondis there aren't nearly as tasty-licious as the pastas. if there 's a secondi that really catches your eye, maybe share it?

    also, the tasting menu is great, but there are a lot of fantastic pasta dishes that aren't offered on it (like that aforementioned life-changing gnocchi). i'm sure that you'll be happy, no matter what you wind up ordering!

    1 Reply
    1. re: funkymonkey

      I took my girlfriend to Babbo for her birthday in February. We opted against the tradtional tasting menu because we wanted more pastas, but did not do the pasta tasting as we wanted some items off the regular menu (we had both been there previosuly and didnt want to miss certain items).

      For antipasti we shared the lamb's tongue vinaigrette and the grilled octopus. Both were fantastic and were items I would definitely order again.

      At the waiters suggestion, for our pasta courses, we each ordered a pasta and they split the portion. However, they did this in two stages which was a really nice way to extend the meal and buy some more digestion time. We each had a half order of the mushroom garganell ifollowed by a half order of beef cheek ravioli. These were the stars of the meal. The pastas were incredible and left you craving more the next day.

      For entrees I ordered the venison loin, while my girlfriend had the black spaghetti with rock shrimp. She won hands down in this department. My venison, while very tasty just did not compare to the spaghetti or any other of the pastas. This was my favorite pasta of the three we tried that night, but but my girlfriend liked both the beef cheek ravioli and garagnelli better.

      Keep in mind, however, that you are comparing different degrees of wonderful and I think which pastas you prefer come down to personal preference as they are all fantastic.
      In total now at Babbo I have had the black spaghetti, gnocchi, beef cheek ravioli, mushroom garganelli, mint love letters, and orechiette with sausage. I couldnt pick a clear favorite, as it would all depend what mood I was in that evening.

      For dessert we shared gelato but this wasnt necessary as we were already stuffed, albeit in a good way.

      To summarize, we had 2 appetizers, 3 pastas, 1 entree, and 1 dessert. Probably a little bit too much food, but when I go back next time, I would get 2 appetizers, 4 pastas, and probably skip dessert (not a huge sweets guy). Keep in mind that I I am a relatively big eater, but was with my girlfriend who is not.

    2. I recently went to Babbo with my boyfriend and we were also tempted to try the tasting menu, but since we already had an idea of specific pasta dishes we really wanted to try and they weren't part of the tasting menu, we decided to order a la carte. We are both moderate to big eaters, especially with pasta, so we split one appetizer (octopus) and three pastas. By the final pasta, I was extremely full and about to collapse into a food coma. However, I did try a little bit of the bread they brought to our table before dinner, so I would recommend not doing that so you don't fill up too soon.

      The three pastas we split were the three goat cheese tortellini, mint love letters, and beef cheeks ravioli. All were incredible and I would be hard-pressed to make myself branch out and order something different next time I go. Even though the servings looked kind of small when they brought them to us, they were very filling. They do bring the pastas in pretty rapid succession, serving the new dish just as you finish the old, so you will probably be able to eat more that way. If you are able to go there really hungry, it would probably be best to split 2 appetizers, 2-3 pastas, and 2 entrees.

      Enjoy the dinner. Since eating there for the first time last month, I am completely obsessed with it and am constantly stalking reviews on the internet. It will definitely be one of the best meals you ever have!

      1 Reply
      1. re: tgarvich

        I went with my friend a few weeks ago (both girls in our 20's) and we shared an appetizer, 2 pastas, a secondi and dessert. It was amazing. I too am now OBSESSED and keep reading reviews on the internet. It was a perfect amount of food but might change it up by getting one more pasta and no secondi or adding a salad. We also were able to share a glass of vino (and it was the perfect amount for each of us) for each course. The waiter perfectly sized up our appetites and steered us the right way! It was perfect have a great time.

      2. We were supposed to go to Babbo last week, but had to cancel. After reading this I am even more sorry!!

        1. We went for my gf's b-day last week. After years of wanting to try it, I can't believe how it met all my expectations.

          We ordered 3 pastas, 2 entrees and 1 desert. The tasting menus aren't the best way to go because you can create your own tasting menu for virtually the same price. Anyway, the pastas were the mint love letters, a sweet potatoe ravioli (probably would order something different next time, but still delicious) and the parpadelle bolegnese (this was by far the best pasta). For the entrees we ordered the lamb chops and pork chop (both on waiters suggestion). Both were great, but the pork chop was pretty outrageous. The table next to us ordered the steak for 2 which also looked great. Has anyone ever tried it? Is it as good as it looks?

          Anyway, that with desert and wine was the perfect dinner. Enjoy!

          3 Replies
          1. re: houston

            Thanks for all the responses everyone. I wish I could see a picture of how big each dish is so we'd know how many items to order. We probably won't do the tasting menu since we kind of have an idea of what we'd like to try already. If anyone else has any other suggestions I'd love to hear it. Thanks again!

            1. re: eleguin

              Portions are good sized most people would leave satisfied with 1 ap 1 main and 1 dessert. I am not most people though :).

              1. re: eleguin

                There are a million photos on flickr - just search the site.
                Add me to the lamb's tongue and any of the pasta's.
                Great wine list as well.
                If you haven't read this elsewhere-the upstairs is much more serene than down-you may want to ask to be seated there ahead of time (when you confirm) if you want that-or downstairs, if you prefer more noise and "action".